Dear God, show us the road
that you have chosen for us,
and give us the courage
to walk down it... Amen

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I believe...

The Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper? -Genesis 4:9

My wife and I reared two children and prepared for our golden years. Then our daughter's marriage failed. She and our three grandchildren came to live with us. Now we are six people in a small frame house. My wife and I are back at work, and our plans for a leisurely life have been placed on hold. We went through a range of emotions and eventually settled in self-pity. By the third year, however, we began to look at ourselves and our circumstances from a different point of view - because of God's word.

The Lord asked Cain, "Where is Abel thy brother?" "I know not" was Cain's response. Then Cain asked a question, the first question human beings asked of God: "Am I my brother's keeper?"

The disciples had questions too. They came to Jesus as he sat on the Mount of Olives. As he talked with them, Cain's age-old question was answered. The Lord described our obligation to care for and to provide for others, that when we do this we are caring for Christ. (See Matt. 25:40.) Can we indeed drink of his cup, bear the cross, and lay down our lives for "the least of these"? We can and must. Without question, Jesus makes God's business our own. When we care for those in need, we care for Christ.
(Tom Henson)

Do you believe in what things you do not see, can not touch? During the children's sermon Ricky asked, "What is Faith?".
Definition: Faith is belief with strong conviction; firm belief in something for which there may be no tangible proof; complete trust; opposite of doubt.
Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see

I love the metaphor of a chair...Find the chair closest to you. Look at it closely. Examine its design. Is it structurally sound? Is it sufficiently engineered? Will the materials chosen by the manufacturer support your weight?

Most likely, you picked a chair that you believe will support you. That's belief. You applied logic, knowlege and experience to make an informed intellectual decision.

Now sit in the chair...That's faith! At one point, intellectual assent only goes so far. True living requires that we put our beliefs into action. Intellectual belief without actionable faith is hollow and meaningless...

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. -Hebrew 11:1

Lord, "let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth". Amen.

I so much enjoyed my visit with Todd and Jill. I knew I would take them to Cades Cove, and I'm glad I did. It was a perfect day. Examining the old log structures, I found Joy in watching Todd and Jill do the same. They thrive on it. But as I really examined each one, I was also thinking. In the pioneer day, when people lived so simply, were they not humbled, joyful. Like other Christian folk, they built Churches and their belief in the Bible was the source of their strength in such a challenging environment. In particular, the Cades Cove settlement provides proof of the abilities and determination of this Early American Scotch-Irish culture. I found this interesting article...

(glowing sugar maple at the mill)

Early Thursday morning, we head North, far North...the longest distance in this country I've been. Ohio is very flat...unlike the mountains and valleys here in East Tennessee which I am so fond of and couldn't trade anything for. Northern Ohio is beautiful...breath taking. Miles and miles of farm land, undeveloped, which I love. We traveled many hours to arrive at our Mount Vernon destination. Friday morning we head out. God surely directed my path as I drove, forever it seemed. Getting lost several times along the way. Roadways are not marked, construction re routes me in places I don't need to be. Finally I arrive at my destination and it makes the trip worth it. Of course, I thank a sweet gentleman whom I don't know, and will most likely never see again. I traveled down the same road at least three times before spotting him standing out in his driveway. We decide he is our last hope. He draws a map to the town we need to be...then I call the Miller's and sweet Linda directed us right to her door. I surely don't expect to see an early cabin in this place that we've traveled to, but there it is, serene, beautiful in its manner. Ralph and Linda Miller are lovely hosts. As we arrived to great food, (we hadn't eaten since 9 that morning), Linda is all smiles. Her shop brimming with wonderful aromas of Christmas...early painted furniture and smalls. Todd and Jill take us up to the cabin, and it surely is a wonderful home...we were greeted at the door by wagging tails. Mac and Charlie Gibson are great door greeters. We find sweet Claire nestled in the cozy bed upstairs. Loyal companions these three are.

We have no idea how to make our way back to the warm, dry comforts of our hotel, so Todd leads the way...directing us safely back to Mount Vernon. As I lay in bed, I was thankful that God kept us safe in our travels, placing the gentleman at just the right time...he always does that you know. We are never lost, if we have faith that he will direct our path.

Early Saturday morning, we head over to the Dan Emmit Conference Center. They've built a nice fire to keep the anxious shoppers warm. It was overwhelming how everything inside had changed since we were first there on Thursday afternoon before all the wonderful artists and dealers had set up all their lovely booths. So much to see...I wanted to photo all the lovely booths, but for respect, I did not...I'll post when Candy shares the show pictures. She and sister Max, (and all their family and friends) did an outstanding job promoting this show. Great hosts they are.

(Me with Max, left - Candy, right)

I was most thankful for this time away to fellowship with old friends, and new ones too. I am most thankful for my dear friend Delores for reading maps and directing me too...most of all I'm thankful God directed us safely there and back home. It was also good to know I was missed:)
Find Joy in this day-


Anonymous said...

What beautiful pics...looks and sounds like you had a fantastic glad you are home safe. I hope one day we get to do those fun things together. I Missed you but am so glad you got to go to the SG show. I have never been to the Millers but after seeing that cabin I surely have added it to my list of to do's.

Thistlebrooms said...

Absolutely Beautiful Photos Sherry...How wonderful for you to get to the show...And take the trip from your Beautiful State of Tenn...I've never been but ya never know...Someday Maybe!!!